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Kuhaylan Haifi

Kuhailan Haifi and his most influential son Ofir (ex Dziwa) in Poland, starting point of an all important sire line that gave immortal Bask (Witraz/Balaleika) and his full sister Bandola.

From the ruling family of the Fed´an Anaza Bedouins, the al-Mahayd/Mhayd clan, the strain of Koheilan Haifi/ Kuhaylan Hayfi/Kuhaylan al-Hayf originated in the time between 1850 and 1875. The Blunts call it Kehilan Heyfi, Major Upton Keheilet Heife. There is no mention in the Abbas Pasha Manuscript (dating ca. 1850). Hayfi is translated as a sort of social exclusion, like a ban. This strain developed directly from the Kuhaylan Ajuz strain. There are two different stories about this strain, both relating an incident in combat. Lady Anne Blunt mentions that the strain acquired a certain reputation when Turki Ibn Jad´aan al-Mahayd, the head of the Fed´an tribe, was killed in a raid against the Rwala tribe, who captured his war mare, a Kuhaylah Hayfiyah. Turki was killed by Khalaf al-Adhn al-Sha´laan after he fell on the ground, his mare having stumbled on a jerboa (a desert rodent) hole. The Fed´an felt that the Rwala had violated the rule of desert warfare, and a long feud between the two tribes ensued. Bedouin accounts of the story say that the mare was not captured, but she made it back to the Fed´an camp, where Turki´s fellow tribesmen ragingly hamstrung her from letting their leader down (i.e. they severed her tendons)!


The strain of Kuhaylan Haifi is represented in the West by a single mare, Reshan, imported by Davenport to the U.S.A.. In Poland the stallion Koheilan Haifi 1923 is of major importance. Koheilan Haifi, by a Koheilan Kharas, was the most important sire in Poland before World War II, although he left only 14 foals. Koheilan Haifi was acquired by Bogdan Zientarski in the desert near Jauf in 1931 from the Rwala. Here is his account of seeing this stallion for the first time:

"Finally I hear a neigh, they guide the stallions... They lead the bay Kuhailan Haifi. My legs buckled under me, it is just the horse I am looking for. Not large, dry, on splendid legs without any trace of cow hocks. A long neck, a noble head, although not very small, with distended, thin and moveable nostrils; a splendid high carried tail. I feel, the first time in my life, that during the purchase of a horse I am fainting..." 

The sire line of this Koheilan Haifi in Poland was solely maintained by his son Ofir 1933 out of Dziwa and his paternal half-brother El Haifi 1935 out of Pomponia II. Witraz 1938 (Ofir/Makata) was the most important son of his father and one of the regenerators of post war Poland´s Arabian breeding. He is the sire of the two full siblings Bask and Bandola and many other outstanding mares and sires with worldwide influence. The phenotype of this sire line repeats itself generation after generation. Bask 1956 (Witraz/Balalaika), was the most important sire and show champion of his time in the U.S. and his full sister Bandola 1948, was called the Queen of Poland, who gave a number of outstanding stallions at Janow Podlaski, like Bandos, Banat and others. These two extraordinary individuals were not asil, but their maternal grandfather, Amurath Sahib, was the last asil stallion of Polish bloodlines and not to forget Koheilan Haifi their paternal grand-grandsire.

Bask and his full sister Bandola.

Reshan 1896, a Kuhaylan Hayfiah mare bred by Ibn Hubayqan of the Shumaylat section of the Fed´an Bedouins in Syria, was imported to America by Homer Davenport and became the foundation mare of this strain in America. Stallions of Davenport breeding of the Koheilan Haifi strain were: Monsoon 1967 (Tripoli/Ceres), Prince Hal 1959 (Tripoli/Dharebah), or Javera Thadrian 1982 (Thane by Lysander/HB Dianara). Exceptional mares were: Pirouette CF 1991 (Javera Thadrian / Piquante), and Thea Isis 1967 (Ibn Alamein/Portia) or JAL Athena 1975 (Lysander/Thea Isis), interestingly showing the same type as Bandola of Poland. In Syria the strain of Kuhaylan Haifi still existed into the first decade of the third millennium.

Reshan bred by the Fedán, Monsoon (Tripoli/Ceres) and Lysander (Sir/Dhalana) belong to the Davenport subgroup in America and are all Kuhaylan al-Hayf.


Lysander and his grandson Javera Thadrian 1982 (Thane by Lysander/HB Dianara) and the mare JAL Athena (Lysander/Thea Isis).

Also Spain imported a mare of the Kuhaylan Haifi strain: Haifa, foaled in 1920 with the Fed´an tribe.

The mare Haifa at the Yeguada Militar in Spain

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